July 30, 2020
By Russ Keller – Guest Columnist Photo Credit: Russ Keller Collection
INFORMATION NEEDED: This week’s image comes from a real color photo depicting a monument in or near Grass Valley near Lake Arrowhead. The monument states: “Site of Grass Valley Sawmill 1869 – 1890 San Bernardino National Forest.” There is a date on the back of the photo of October 22, 1977. Grass Valley was the site of the Tyler Mill. John Robinson states in his book The San Bernardinos (1989),“The Grass Valley Steam Sawmill (was) operated by Joseph and Charles Tyler from 1870 until 1894.” Leaving the year discrepancy aside for a moment, I’m looking for the following information. Where was this monument located and what happened to it, assuming it is no longer there? The date of 1977 would indicate that when the Country Club expanded the 9-hole golf course to an 18-hole course, completed in 1963, the monument was still standing. Or was it erected after this? I always believed the Tyler Mill was located on Country Club property. I have an early map that shows the location of the Tyler Mill, but no golf course or streets were present. Judging from this circa 1904 map the mill would be near the southernmost edge of the Country Club property. Anyone with information on this monument is encouraged to call the historical society at the number below. Pauliena LaFuze, in her book Saga of the San Bernardinos (2006), reports the following. A steam sawmill was built in Grass Valley in 1869 by Jonathan James & Dudley Dickey. In late 1870 the mill was sold to Reuben Anderson & Barney Carter. In December of 1871 the Tyler brothers bought the Grass Valley steam sawmill from Anderson & Carter. In 1890 the Tyler mill burned down. In 1891 it appears the mill and property were purchased by the Arrowhead Reservoir Company. The mill was back in operation to provide milled lumber to the new company. In 1909 the mill’s equipment was transferred to a location closer to the Little Bear Lake dam.